A decent PC-TV hybrid that is let down by basic input options and a slightly hefty price tag.
The Samsung Syncmaster P2770HD, the larger brother of P2370, from Samsung is a mix of two different worlds: TV and PC monitor. Sporting 27-inch screen estate, the Samsung Syncmaster P2770 holds a distinctive TV styling with tuner capabilities, and as with most Samsung HDTVs, SRS Trusurround HD enabled speakers. But unusual for such sized displays, it runs on 1080p, sports VGA and DVI input and a jack to receive sound from your PC sound card. This makes it a perfect choice for users who wants a compact viewing experience without shelling out for two separate devices, but at approx. AED 1,700 (US$460), does the Samsung Syncmaster P2770HD provide enough bang for the money?
Design and Features
The Samsung Syncmaster P2770HD won’t turn many heads but is glassy and classy enough to not be embarrassed sporting on your desk. The display features the same popular design found in many Samsung HDTVs. The acrylic black glossy frame with a dash of ruby red at the edges gives it a distinctive flavor. The stand also features the same color scheme, and with a sleek glass neck, gives it a unique look among the blacks and slivers of modern gadgets. Adding to the appeal are the touch buttons at the bottom right of the screen that glows-in at a tap and fades-out when not in use. I think this is a classier alternative to hiding the buttons behind or at the bottom of the display, and has superb showoff capabilities in front of snooty relatives. Of course, as with touch buttons they are not at their best behavior always and so it is advisable to use the full-sized remote control provided in the package. It has nice thick buttons and is comfortable to use.
The Samsung Syncmaster P2770HD sports enough inputs for basic needs. As a TV, it has digital and analogue tuner features, 3-watt stereo speakers with SRS Trusurround HD and Dolby Digital Plus support, a single HDMI input, and the component jacks. On the PC side, it has a single VGA and DVI input, a headphone jack, separate stereo jack for feeding in PC audio, as well as an S/PDIF digital input. There is also a USB jack, but it’s for upgrading firmware only.
While it’s alright to have singles of every input at this price point, it is a bit of disappointment that the display only features one HDMI port. With devices like TV receivers, PC, multiple consoles all using HDMI, users will either be unable to connect all of them or would have to resort to inferior alternatives. For example, if a user has a Blu-ray player, an Xbox 360 and a PS3, he is already running out ports. Also, we would have liked the headphone jack placed on the side of the screen rather than along with the cluster of inputs. If you choose to wall mount the screen or press it against the wall, it will soon become a pain on the softer sides to disconnect and re-connect your headphones.
Another bit of disappointing thing about the display is the lack of lack of adjustment options. There are no height or swivel adjustments at all. With a product that also aspires to be a TV, that’s unacceptable in these times.
The OSD is easy to use and quick to grasp. However, it is a bit slow and feels clunky and cumbersome in use. And when I say slow, I mean 1-second-lag slow.
The Samsung Syncmaster P2770HD carries 5ms response time, 16.7 million display colors, 320 cd/m2 brightness and a dynamic contrast ratio of 50,000:1 (or 1,000:1 contrast ratio if you overlook the marketing gloss). At these specs, the display performed well with images, games and movies looking extremely good. The screen showed good color reproduction and was perfectly adequate in fast motion in video games and action movies. The blacks are not the best – clouding is quite visible – but they aren’t particularly poor or distractingly bad.
Like most Samsung display, it comes with its share of MagicBright presets: Entertain, Internet, Text, Dynamic Contrast and Custom. Neither of them does anything ‘more’ than just changing brightness/contrast levels. Generally, Entertain is a good preset for games and movies. However, I just don’t get the Internet and Text presets – they are way too bright for normal browsing and writing (I work in a pretty well lit office). Dynamic Contrast should be left alone, as usual.
The speakers are decent, albeit a bit on the softer side. There are a couple of presets you can choose from: Standard, Music, Movie, Clear Voice, and Custom. We are not sure what ‘Custom’ does though, as it does not provide any additional options after selecting it. We played Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and watched some hi-def movie trailers, and as mentioned earlier, the sound is a bit soft. It does the job up close but if you intend to sit back, you might want to invest in a pair of external speakers. SRS TruSurround HD is not very apparent, only helping slightly with audio positing.
The Samsung Syncmaster P2770HD is one decent device. It has nice styling, decent options, and great image quality but priced at AED 1,700, it’s a bit steep considering the basic inputs and lack of height adjustment. For a little more, you can easily get a 32″ FULL HD LCD with multiple input options. You won’t be sacrificing much of space and is perfect for PC and TV use as well (and i speak from experience).